Cool Cucumbers

008Summertime in Texas means a jar of cucumbers (preferably homegrown) sitting in a jar  in the refrigerator – cold, crunchy, snappy goodness that are a perfect side for almost any meal. No cooking required, so cool food, cool kitchen!  My mother kept a jar of these cucumbers in her icebox, and I remember my grandmother making them, too.  I usually make mine by heating water and the small amount of sugar needed until the sugar completely dissolves, then mixing with vinegar before pouring over layered cucumbers and sliced onions seasoned with salt and pepper.

There are many variations created by adding  another vegetable or spices.  If I have dill growing in my herb bed, I add a few sprigs of it.  I have added celery seeds, cherry tomatoes or a sliced jalapeno.  We like this best alongside a serving of fresh purple hull peas and a wedge of cornbread.  When we lived in Indonesia, we learned to enjoy a version of this dish prepared in much the same way, but adding hot peppers and carrots, all chopped in small pieces.  This is called acar, and is served as a condiment, served with many foods there, but always with nasi goreng (fried rice).

Marinated Cucumbers

2-3  cucumbers, sliced (I peel them if they are storebought, but skip peeling when I bring them in from the garden)

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ cup either white or apple cider vinegar

½ cup water

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer cucumbers and onions in a jar or container with cover and sprinkle a little salt over them. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook until just hot, not boiling. Pour over the cucumbers and onions. Cool, then cover and refrigerate.

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